27th Feb, 2020

Church are desperate for goals

Redditch Editorial 6th Feb, 2020

ALVECHURCH have targeted Barwell midfielder Dominic Brownhill as a potential fourth new signing in the last week to boost their survival fight.

Church have welcomed back two former players – Joe Phillips and Connor Deards from Aberystwyth Town and Walsall Wood respectively – and signed West Bromwich Albion prospect Eoin Ashton on loan.

Manager Dean Holtham also confirmed they had made a seven-day approach to Barwell for playmaker Brownhill. Holtham said their Southern Premier Central rivals had waived the usual waiting time and they expected to speak to the former Leicester City and Notts County youngster before Saturday’s trip to title-chasing Peterborough Sports.

The Lye Meadow side are desperate for a goalscoring spark after Tuesday night’s 2-0 home defeat to Tamworth left them with just one point from the last seven matches. They had slipped into the bottom two after Saturday’s goalless stalemate at home to fourth-bottom Leiston and now sit eight points from safety, albeit with games in hand.

Holtham admits it has been a familiar tale in the last couple of games, with Church creating good opportunities but failing to take them and then against Tamworth being caught out by two late goals from substitute Chris Lait.

How they would love to a finisher like former top-scorer Josh March, who has since gone on join League Two Forest Green Rovers, in their ranks.

“It seems to be the story since I took over,” said Holtham, who took over from Darren Byfield before Christmas.

“We are having chances but not taking them. Josh used to be the difference for us over the last few seasons and if you know where there’s another Josh March let me know.

“It’s tough at the minute but we’ve got to try and put a smile on players’ faces and stay positive.

“You look at the performances and the players we’ve got and we shouldn’t be in this position but unfortunately we are. The league table doesn’t lie.

“Football is a simple game. You need to cut out the mistakes and take your chances. Football matches are won in both boxes, stopping the opposition and scoring at the other. We need to do those basics right at the back and we need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal.”

Winger and front-runner Phillips has played in the last two games and former Walsall, Redditch, Studley and Rushall player Deards returned against the Lambs to partner Nehemia Zazi up front.

Ashton, a regular for Albion Under-18s side, is also a creative influence who can play in an advanced role and is set to make his debut at Peterborough.

However, striker Kyle Perry has departed and joined Stratford Town after being omitted from the starting line-up and then not travelling for the Hitchin Town away game.

“He didn’t think he should have been dropped and I did,” said Holtham.

After the trip to third-placed Peterborough, Alvechurch turn their attention to the Worcestershire Senior Invitation Cup with a semi-final tie at home to Jimmy Shan’s Kidderminster Harriers on Wednesday (7.45pm). The winners will meet Bromsgrove Sporting in the final and Holtham has no intention of making wholesale changes.

“We’ll put out the strongest team can – we won’t be throwing in the kids,” he added. “It’s the chance to reach a cup final but at the moment the most important thing is to get some momentum.”

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